You Only Live Once (YOLO)

you only live once

If you have a Facebook or Twitter account (which almost everyone these days has at least one) then you may have seen statuses and tweets that say YOLO. This is an acronym for the phrase “You only live once” which I think became popular with Drake’s 2011 song, the motto. No matter the reason for its popularity, I personally feel the overuse of YOLO has become slightly irritating, especially in the way many people use it.

Yes, we all know that we only have one life to live (unless you believe in reincarnation). But it seems that people are using this fact in order to justify the stupid things they do. I can agree that we should live life doing things that make us happy and enjoying each moment we have, but I don’t think acting impulsively is the right way to live life to the fullest. For example, someone might get wasted, do drugs, or put themselves in danger and say that they are doing it because “you only live once.” But to me that doesn’t make sense, it seems backwards. If we only have one life to live, why would we shorten it? Why would we purposely harm the only body we have, make stupid decisions we can never undo, or do anything that would risk damaging the only life we have, when we know we won’t get a second chance?

If someone were to give you a car and said you would never be able to have another one no matter what, not even if you bought it on your own, I’m sure you would take care of that car as best as you could. And if you were certain that you could never get another job if you were fired from the one you have now, I bet you would be the best worker there was to ensure your job security. Applying this same logic to physical things in our lives like our cars or jobs, it seems people would most likely try to preserve what they can’t get back once it is lost, but why wouldn’t we feel the same way about our actual life? Our lives should be way more important than our cars and our jobs, I would hope. But I guess that all depends on who you ask. The people that use the phrase “You only live once” as an excuse to live recklessly, could well enough be the same people who don’t take their jobs seriously or anything else in their life for that matter.

I’m not saying that people shouldn’t do anything that could potentially harm them in anyway and to live in some bubble, because that would just be ridiculous. But I am saying that we should make smart decisions and stop making excuses for things we probably shouldn’t be doing. If you want to eat an unhealthy cookie, go for it. If you want to live on the edge and go sky diving, go for it. But remember that life isn’t fully about making ourselves happy, but by reaching out to the world and making other people’s lives happy as well. It is important to take risks and do things you may be scared to do, but it is stupid to go overboard with anything.

I have no right to tell anyone how to live their life, I just ask that you evaluate your lifestyle and decide if it is one you are proud of. We all can improve at least one aspect in our lives, but we must first be able to acknowledge it before we can change it. So instead of using the phrase “you only live once” as an excuse to make poor, impulsive decisions, use it as a reason to be the best you can be (or at least stop saying yolo after everything!).

What does YOLO mean to you?

Word of the Week: Sagacity

I want to broaden my vocabulary (and encourage others to as well), so every Monday I will pick a word of the week. I will include the definition and pronunciation and will try my best to do something a little creative. The first “word of the week” is sagacity.

sagacity

Pronunciation: [suh-gas-i-tee]

Definition: noun – foresight, discernment, or keen perception; ability to make good judgements.

The adjective form is sagacious meaning someone who is insightful, perceptive, or wise.

The picture above is a collage of eyes made out of different things.
Top left: jewelry
Top right: leaves and flowers
bottom left: chocolate
bottom right: scarves and a cd

Cheddar & Apple Buttermilk Biscuits

cheddar apple biscuits

These biscuits may sound like a weird combination of ingredients, but they are so good. It is like having a cheddar biscuit mixed with a sweet apple pie. A great combination of sweet and savory. These could be a nice little dessert snack or eaten for breakfast.

What You’ll Need

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 stick unsalted butter

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 large granny smith apple, finely chopped

3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

For glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar 

a few spoonfuls of frozen apple juice concentrate (thawed)

How to Prepare

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place parchment paper on a large cookie sheet (or grease it if you don’t have parchment)

2. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium or large bowl.

3. Cut butter into slices and add to bowl. Use a pastry blender to cut butter into the flour mixture until it combines and becomes crumbly.
*A pastry blender is a curved set of metal wires that attach to a handle. It is not an actual blender. If you don’t have one you can use your hands to combine the flour mixture and butter.

4. Pour in buttermilk and mix until moistened. Stir in chopped apples and shredded cheese.

5. Form dough by using a 1/4 cup scoop and placing on the cookie sheet. Keep 1 inch in between each biscuit.
*I did mine a little smaller- about a spoon and a half of dough for each biscuit.

6. Bake for 17-22 minutes or until lightly browned. Once cooked, move immediately to wire rack to cool.
*the small ones took exactly 17 minutes to cook for me.

7. Place powdered sugar in a bowl and add apple juice concentrate slowly until desired consistency.  Then drizzle over biscuits.

This recipe makes about 28 small biscuits or 14 larger biscuits.

They are best when served warm right out of the oven, but can still be enjoyed refrigerated and heated later.

cheddar biscuits

recipe adapted from: simplysouthernbaking.com

Lentil & Sweet Potato Soup

sweet potato lentil soup

I love making soup because you get to throw everything in a pot and let the stove do the rest of the work. This soup tastes great and has some healthy ingredients too.

What You’ll Need

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium vidalia onion, finely chopped

4 small carrots (or 3 medium), chopped

2 Tbsp curry powder

1 tsp salt & pepper

2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger

3 large garlic cloves, minced

48 oz low sodium chicken broth

2 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
(I used diced tomatoes with green pepper, celery, and onion– but plain would work too)

1 cup of brown lentils

How to Prepare

1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.

2. Add the onions and carrots. Saute until onions are tender, about 5 mins.

3. Add ginger, garlic, curry, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 2 mins.

4. Pour in chicken broth, sweet potatoes, diced tomatoes (with juice), and lentils. Turn heat to medium-high and bring to a boil for 1 minute.

5. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 40 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender.

This makes about 8-10 servings.

recipe adapted from: cookingwithmykid.com

It’s About the Paths You Take

quote superhero

I love this quote because it can apply to everyone in a different way.

We are all given a talent and a set of traits, but these characteristics alone do not define us, it’s how we use them that makes us who we are.

If you are excellent at public speaking it can be seen as a positive (or a super “power”) especially since that is a difficult skill for many people. But if you use this strength to do evil (Hitler comes to mind) your negative actions will outweigh the “super power” you have.

It can be viewed the opposite way as well. Everyone has a certain thing about themselves they do not like. It could be anything from a bad situation they are in to a negative personality trait, but how you use this situation/trait will determine the type of life you will live.

Learn a lesson, become a stronger person, and use what you have been blessed with to bless others.

(by the way- I drew the picture for this entry. I am not too good at drawing, but I tried. I had to look at something for inspiration as it would have come out much worse if I made it up haha. The girl looks sorta mermaid-ish with the star in her hair though.)

Think it and Make it Happen

what we think we become

This is a quote spoken by Buddha (and there have been many variations of it).
 If you tell yourself that something is too hard, you will begin to believe it and prevent yourself from fully applying yourself and giving all you can give. If instead you think positively, you will believe that you can achieve your goal which will give you the strength to fight the battle.

If you put garbage in, you will get garbage out. Feed your mind with things that will help you grow and motivate you to become a better person.  If you can conquer your thoughts you can conquer your battles.

Greek Lima Beans

Greek Lima Beans

I don’t think lima beans have much of a flavor on their own, but this recipe gives them a nice taste. This recipe calls for mint leaves, but keep in mind there are two types of mint (peppermint and spearmint). From what I have read, traditionally you cook with spearmint, but I used a combination of both. Whatever you have on hand should be fine.

WHAT YOU NEED

10 oz frozen lima beans

1 cup water

3 Tbsp olive oil

3Tbsp parsley, chopped

2 Tbsp mint leaves, chopped
(approx. 15 leaves. I used mostly spearmint leaves and a few peppermint)

3 big cloves of garlic

zest from 1 lemon

1 oz feta cheese

salt & pepper

HOW TO PREPARE

1. Put oil and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook for about 1 minute to soften garlic.

2. Add the lima beans, water, 1 tbsp mint, 2 tbsp parsley, and some salt. (the remaining herbs will be added at the end)

3. Bring to a simmer. Then cover and reduce heat.

4. Cook for approx. 17 minutes or until the beans are soft.

5. Remove from heat and add remaining herbs, lemon zest and pepper. Crumble feta cheese on top.

You can serve this dish with a variety of food. I had it with steak and red potatoes as shown below.

steak - lima beans - potatoessteak - lima beans - potatoes - dinner

recipe adapted from thekitchn.com

Honey Lime Grilled Shrimp

honey lime grilled shrimp

I made this shrimp for a party and it was very very tasty! It can be served as an appetizer or part of your main course.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

2 lbs raw, shelled, de-veined shrimp

1 jar (4 oz) hot chili paste
(look in the ethnic section of the grocery store. I used Thai Kitchen brand)

1 cup of honey

1/2 cup of lime juice (about 4 or 5 limes)

1 Tbsp fresh minced garlic

1/4 cup fresh minced ginger

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup canola oil (you could substitute with coconut oil)

Approx. 10 bamboo or metal skewers

HOW TO PREPARE

1. Rinse shrimp and place in a large ziplock bag.

2. Put all the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix together.

3. Set aside 1/2 cup of the marinade to use when ready to cook.

4. Pour the rest of the marinade in the bag and coat the shrimp.

5. Put the bag of shrimp w/ marinade in a bowl/container to prevent from leaking.

6. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours, but no more than 48 hours.
(I marinated mine for about 35 hours)

7. When ready to cook, thread the shrimp onto the skewers and fire up the grill.

  • *Some people recommend soaking bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes before grilling to avoid them catching fire. I have read that it doesn’t really help, but use your own judgement. I didn’t soak my skewers, but I also lined the grill with foil.
  • *I baked a few in the oven to try them out before I served them at a party. So if you wish to bake them instead of grilling, they will still turn out delicious. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

8. Put shrimp on the grill and pour the reserved marinade on top.

9. Cook the shrimp for a few minutes on each side until pink.

*Be sure to keep an eye on them because shrimp cook very fast!

10. Once fully cooked, take off the grill and pull off the skewers to serve in a bowl. You can give each person an individual skewer if you prefer.

This recipe was adapted from: ourbestbites.com

The Benefits of Cucumbers

I love to eat cucumbers and I was wondering what benefits they actually had. So, I did some research and compiled it all together so I could share it with everyone. I know that cucumbers may not be a favorite among most, but maybe this information will convince you to add cucumbers to your diet and serve as reinforcement to those who already enjoy them. You can check out my snack recipe for cucumbers here. And If you have a favorite cucumber recipe I’d love for you to share.

cucumber benefits

information gathered from: livestrong.com and nutrition-and-you.com

Cucumbers Topped with Tuna, Dried Mango & Cranberries

cucumbers-tuna-fruit

This is a healthy snack idea or could even be eaten for lunch.

If you want to make it like a little sandwich, you could even put an extra cucumber slice on top.

WHAT YOU NEED

Tuna fish (prepared how you like it, read below to see my preference)

1/2  Cucumber sliced (or however many slices you want to make)

Dried fruit of your choice

HOW TO PREPARE

  • Prepare tuna the way you normally would.

-I put a little bit of mayo, relish, and onions in mine.

  • Cut the cucumber into slices, spread a little tuna on each slice and top with dried fruit

(my favorite is cranberries)

If you don’t like the skin you could peel it, but remember the skin has a lot of nutrients!

If you want to know the benefits of cucumber read my post here.

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